Lee Health clears up rumors connected to COVID vaccine for kids

Kids COVID-19 vaccines
Posted at 5:37 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 18:17:05-04

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — Misinformation can create some big concerns for parents when deciding whether or not to get the COVID vaccine for their kids.

Even before the pandemic, health experts have been trying to make sense of the myths around vaccines.

Dr. Stephanie Stovall, a Scientific Liaison and Infection Prevention Exper for Lee Health has seen it first hand.

“We see the devastating effects of kids that die of preventable diseases and that’s what we are trying to avoid,” said Stovall.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize COVID vaccines for children ages 5-11, so Fox 4 decided to put some of these rumors out in the open.

Were vaccines rushed and may not be safe for children?

“So the amount of work that has been done on these vaccines may feel rushed from a timeline perspective, but from a numbers perspective we actually have way more experience with these vaccines than we do with almost any vaccine in history when it comes to the sheer number of people who have received it,” said Stovall.

Dr. Stovall says because of recent technology, study centers are able to quickly share their findings and arrange clinical trials, but what about the long-term damage it can do inside someone’s body?

Will COVID-19 vaccines alter my child’s DNA?

“The mRNA vaccines, so the Pfizer and Moderna is mRNA which is a completely different molecule than DNA. It’s not able to integrate into DNA and DNA cannot be influenced by RNA," said Stovall.

Stovall told Fox 4 RNA only helps the body to make a protein before it quickly disintegrates.

“So even when your immune system is responding to the vaccine it's not responding to the vaccine it’s responding to the product of your own cells that were influenced by the vaccine,” said Stovall.

Do children only experience mild COVID symptoms?

Dr. Stovall says while the majority of children who get COVID only experience short-lived symptoms, they are starting to see long-term impacts on their health.

“Right now what we are seeing is the after-effects in the pediatric population. The after-effect in the pediatric population is the Multisystem Inflammatory Disease post-COVID that children get,” said Stovall.

She says these symptoms that include high fever, are making kids very sick and even prompting doctors to give stronger medicines they normally would avoid for children.

This is why Lee Health says it will take a team made up of doctors and parents to help us push through the pandemic.